Thank you for showing your support and considering becoming one of our valued team of Befrienders. Our Befrienders are parents, grandparents, adult siblings and adult family members who feel the time may be right to offer support to other families after their own bereavement. This page will give a little more information about how to become a Befriender and what it involves. We currently have a team of 40 Befrienders across England and Wales.
Befriender Training Dates
We are pleased to announce that we are now recruiting for new Befrienders – our next training sessions are on Wednesday 29th November and Thursday 30th November.
We are looking at widening our bereavement support services to meet the increase in demand. We would particularly welcome, and like to hear from families who have lost a baby to other causes (than SIDS) and families whose baby died in a neonatal unit either because they were very premature or sick. We especially would welcome hearing from dads and grandparents. We would also like to reach families again in Northern Ireland. If you have been bereaved at least four years, we would love to hear from you. This is open to family members who feel ready to support others, after the death of your baby or young child; sibling; grandchild; niece or nephew.
How can I become a Befriender?
We welcome applications or calls from any bereaved parent or close relative of a baby or child up to the age of three to four years old. We ask that you be at least four years from the time of your baby or child’s death.
What does Befriending involve?
As a Befriender you will give one to one support to other bereaved families. This could be by phone or email. Occasional face-to-face support can happen at a Family Day, with agreement by the Support Team. The Lullaby Trust will match Befrienders with those who have requested Befriending, for as little or as long as needed.
In between supporting families by phone or email, there is also the opportunity to attend our annual regional popular Family Days or other Events.
We run annual Training days and invitations are posted via social media or via direct contact to the Support Team. You will be asked to attend a training day: an application form and relevant paperwork will be sent in advance as well as the chance to speak to one of the Helpline Team about the role and the Training prior to attending. Our training is not an accredited course, but focuses on active listening and other relevant skills to help assist you in your role.
On the Training day you will receive specialist training on how to give effective support, and use your skills fully. This includes small group exercises and open discussions.
After the Training and you have “signed-up”, you will receive a Befriender Volunteer Pack, ongoing support which will help guide you through your role, attend the annual Befriender Conference and any other relevant training.
How much time will I need to commit as a Befriender?
The role of a Befriender is not an onerous task and we will always talk to you before we match you with a parent or family member, so we can discuss their possible needs and your availability. The needs of individual Befriending can vary from one phone call, to support over several months, or in some cases years. While Befriending you can agree times or ways of contacting that suit you both, so that this can easily fit with any other commitments you may have.
Our commitment to you also is to provide support during the process of your Befriending. Regular feedback via email and telephone gives you the opportunity to share how things are going and we hope that this will be a positive experience for both you and the families you support.
Our Befrienders stories
If you would like to become a Befriender, please fill in an application form.